'Loos Battle, 5th Camerons in the Hohenzollen Redoubt, 25th September 1915'
Pen and ink and watercolour by Lieutenant Richard Barrett Talbot Kelly MBE, MC, RI (1896-1971), Royal Field Artillery, 1915.
The Hohenzollern Redoubt was one of the strongest positions in the German lines at Loos. It protected a small hill that afforded views in all directions to whoever possessed it. On the opening day of the Battle of Loos it was successfully assaulted by 26th Brigade, including 5th Battalion The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, but in the days that followed the attacking troops soon found themselves isolated and surrounded on the flanks. Despite being reinforced they were eventually compelled to retire in the face of fierce German counter-attacks.
The accompanying inscription states: 'Note - the early gas mask in which the assault was made The gas we used here for the first time, and then I died about causing casualties to both sides.'
As part of an 18-pounder gun battery crew, Talbot Kelly took part in many of the major offensives of the Western Front. He regularly served as a Forward Observation Officer, tasked with spotting where the artillery shells were landing. The unique vantage point of the battlefields that this job gave him, inspired him to draw his experiences.
NAM Accession Number
Not NAM Copyright, Artist's Copyright
National Army Museum, Conflict in Europe gallery